Movie Review By Monica Sullivan
You don't have to be a huge fan of the small screen version of "Charlie's Angels" to enjoy the splashy new movie produced by and starring Drew Barrymore. In fact, I know you don't, because I've never been able to watch more than five minutes of any of the television episodes without switching to something better, like a classic installment of "The Avengers". Now that's interesting, isn't it? A 4* show like "The Avengers" is transmogrified into the worst movie of 1998 while the worst-written series of 1976-81 rises from the ashes to become one of the best movies in the year 2000. Why? Let's start with the script, co-written by John August, Ed Solomon and Ryan Rowe. Although they make fun of the series in virtually every frame, they don't sneer at it as the abysmal screenplay for "The Avengers" movie did. Then Barrymore brought video director McG onto the project. McWHO? It's okay if you've never heard of him: "Charlie's Angels" is his first theatrical feature. But he moves everything along at an electric pace and the high-voltage charisma of his three stars takes care of everything else: Drew Barrymore, whose personality would melt an iceberg, Cameron Diaz, who always looks so thrilled to be invited to the party, and Lucy Liu, who finally gets to play the action sequences she wanted to do in "Shanghai Noon" opposite Jackie Chan. As Dylan, Natalie and Alex, they tear up the screen, constantly rescuing Bill Murray as Bosley and the unseen John Forsythe as Charlie.
Every guy in the movie is a deliberate cartoon, from Sam Rockwell as Eric Knox, yet another guy they're supposed to rescue, to Tim Curry as Roger Corwin, from Crispin Glover as the silent but deadly Thin Man to Matt LeBlanc as Alex's boyfriend Jason and from Tom Green as Dylan's boyfriend Chad to Luke Wilson as Natalie's wannabe boyfriend Pete. Pure evil is reserved for Kelly Lynch as Vivian Wood who fights the angels in skin tight black leather. The soundtrack is filled with up to the minute stuff from Destiny's Child and others as well as golden oldies by Wham, Joan Jett, Juice Newton, the Vapors, Aerosmith, Spandau Ballet and Marvin Gaye. There's even a sequence with Dylan and Natalie in drag and, with a beard, Barrymore looks like she comes from the same gene pool as Joshua Jackson. You won't be able to miss "Charlie's Angels" with all the dolls and other merchandise flooding the market. (No guns, though. The Angels don't need no stinking guns.) The trappings are gaudy but, unlike in 1976, at least they surround fast, fun, stylish entertainment.
© 2000 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 11/1/00
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